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Best way of incorporating 4:3 or portrait sized photos in to a 16:9 film?

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Jinan Col
Best way of incorporating 4:3 or portrait sized photos in to a 16:9 film?
on Oct 28, 2014 at 1:15:31 pm

Hello,

I'm working on a film that will have a sequence using only still images - though most of them are portrait format as opposed to naturally landscape - they are to be used in a standalone sequence in what is a 16:9 film.

I have been told by the agency that have licensed the photos to me, that while I can use pan and zoom, the starting image must be at its original 100% full frame, and then I can zoom and pan.

I must admit that I am only used to the following:

1) Re-scaling square or portrait photos to fit a 16:9 frame - not ideal I know for resolution.

2) Making the film 4:3 so that any still images used are automatically always full frame.


My question is, what is the best way of doing this is I want the film to be 16:9, but I cannot scale in the photos right away.

Should I pillar box the photos and if panning and zooming in on particular details, do so within the pillar boxed frame? i.e. I wouldn't start with pillar boxes and then zoom in to the photo until the entire 16:9 movie frame is filled with the image - it would look ridiculous no?

Is there a better way of doing this? Will even this option above look silly? I mea a 16:9 film and then a sequence of pillar boxed images that also have pan and zoom, albeit subtle?

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Thanks


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Juris Eksts
Re: Best way of incorporating 4:3 or portrait sized photos in to a 16:9 film?
on Oct 28, 2014 at 1:59:55 pm

I wouldn't say that starting pillar box, then zooming to fill the frame looks ridiculous.
You could start with the full sized portrait image, with a background based on the foreground image, either a colour from that image, or an out-of focus large scale copy of the photograph.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Best way of incorporating 4:3 or portrait sized photos in to a 16:9 film?
on Oct 28, 2014 at 2:05:52 pm

I agree with Juris. But also, don't be afraid of a frame that's not 100 percent filled and centered at all times. Play with composition and backgrounds. I must say, I've never heard a restriction quite like the one they gave you, but it's not anything you can't work around. Among your options are layering large and partial versions of the same image, and creating a "tableau" setup with the full-size photos on it, then doing moves or dissolves across it.


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Jinan Col
Re: Best way of incorporating 4:3 or portrait sized photos in to a 16:9 film?
on Oct 28, 2014 at 2:29:18 pm

Thanks for the reply. All of the images are black and white, and I just wondered whether it would look better to keep the framing of the images within the pillar box, and shift around within that frame?

I'm not too familiar with what your suggestion looks like, though I'm open to exploring possibilities! Do you know where I might see an example of this kind of thing online?


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Juris Eksts
Re: Best way of incorporating 4:3 or portrait sized photos in to a 16:9 film?
on Oct 28, 2014 at 4:39:59 pm

I think you should just experiment, see what different approaches look like, whether a muted colour, bright colour, white, grey or black, or a varied background suit the story, and what you are trying to convey.


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grinner hester
Re: Best way of incorporating 4:3 or portrait sized photos in to a 16:9 film?
on Oct 28, 2014 at 8:27:23 pm

I like to cut out key principals and properties and scale them separately... while adding rack focus to the background. Makes kind of a 3D vibe and adds intrest in a piece that is otherwise just flat stills. You can use the back ground on another layer and blur it to fill the screen. Here are 3 quick examples:








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Mark Suszko
Re: Best way of incorporating 4:3 or portrait sized photos in to a 16:9 film?
on Oct 29, 2014 at 2:34:50 am
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Oct 29, 2014 at 2:35:14 am

Yeah, Grinner, I love using that technique; I end up using it a lot in annual promos for the state fair grandstand acts, where all the management gives you are some (often un-inspired) still photos. You own the yellow VW bus? If so, cool. Also, nice job on the song that links after your examples - you are multi-talented! Extra sprinkles, indeed.


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grinner hester
Re: Best way of incorporating 4:3 or portrait sized photos in to a 16:9 film?
on Oct 30, 2014 at 1:53:15 pm

thank ya brother. As Garth in Wayne's World put it... I like to play. :)



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